5 Acts You Need To See At Helsinki's Flow Festival

With 11 different stages, you'll need to be a logistics savant

Flow Festival   credit Joni Lindroos

Image via Flow Festival / Joni Lindroos on Flickr

Flow Festival   credit Joni Lindroos

This year's Flow Festival in Helsinki, taking place this weekend (Friday Aug. 12 - Sunday Aug. 14), will for most people be the last festival of the summer. And what a way to close the season. If you've already grabbed your ticket, you'll probably be counting down the seconds. Even if you're a last-minute kind of person with a chronic aversion to forward planning, well, you might still get lucky with a ticket. And if you are that kind of person, chances are you've yet to plan out which stages you'll be at and at what time.

It's quite a line-up this year, and a pretty eclectic one at that, so planning is a must. There's punk from The Descendents and Iggy Pop, indie from New Order, Morrissey and Daughter, futuristic pop from Sia, FKA Twigs and Dua Lipa, a tonne of house and techno with Jeff Mills, The Black Madonna, Helena Hauff and DJ Pierre, hip-hop from Lil B, grime from Stormzy and countless other sounds blasting out across the Finnish capital. Whatever you're into, there'll be more than enough for you to gorge on. Still, with 11 different stages, you'll need to be a logistics savant—or you could just scroll through and check out our essential picks.

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals

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Anderson .Paak still remains on the fringes of commercial popularity, but it won't be long before he becomes an established figurehead of the R&B and hip-hop mainstream. Dr. Dre's latest protégé had an absolutely golden moment with his second album, Malibu earlier this year, where he produced his best career work to date. Drawing from a plethora of rich sounds that stretch from low-slung hip-hop to soulful trap, .Paak has garnered co-signs from the likes of Gilles Peterson, landed himself a spot on XXL's Freshmen list of 2016 and collaborated with everyone from Kaytranada (also appearing at Flow Festival) to Mac Miller. Blessed with a sensual voice that's as good at singing as it is rapping, Anderson .Paak is a certified must-see alongside The Free Nationals.

Catch Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals on Sunday, 7.30pm at the Main Stage.

Jeff Mills

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The undisputed king of the 909, The Wizard, Jeff Mills is a widely celebrated producer and DJ for a thousand different reasons. As part of seminal techno outfit Underground Resistance, Mills played a pivotal role in the championing of Detroit techno on a global level. Since then he's struck out on his own, DJing, composing, scoring film soundtracks and more. His extensive career features the full gamut of electronic music—from avant garde experimentations (see his recent film score for Fritz Lang's 1929 silent film Woman In The Moon) to powerful techno bangers—and his live appearances are as jaw-dropping now as they were in the '80s. Watch, listen and learn. 

Catch Jeff Mills on Saturday, 11pm at Voimala.

Massive Attack & Young Fathers

Building on the huge success of their recent collaboration on "Voodoo In My Blood", Bristol soundboys Massive Attack and Mercury Prize-winning trio Young Fathers will play a b2b set at this year's Flow Festival. Hopefully this will be a chance to hear the two acts rework each other's tracks into the kind of magic we heard on "Voodoo...". Who doesn't want to hear Alloysious Massaquoi put his own spin on "Teardrop" or "Karmacoma"? We're not sure how long this collaboration is going to last, so get yourself to the main stage on Friday night and make the most of it while you still can.

Catch Massive Attack & Young Fathers on Friday, 10.45pm at the Main Stage.

Iggy Pop

A lot of comparisons are being made right now between punk and grime, so what better time to see one of the genre and movement's principal architects? He may be somewhat older than Wiley and Skepta but after all these years, Iggy Pop is still full of fire and will give any MC a run for their stageshow money. As much as anything, it'll be a good opportunity to see the menacing dirge of iconic tracks like "I Wanna Be Your Dog" or the primal mania of "No Fun" and "Lust For Life".

Catch Iggy Pop on Friday, 8.45pm at the Main Stage.

Lil B

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Internet icon and cult figure Lil B, aka The Based God, will bless the Lapin Kulta Red Arena at Flow in what is set to be one of the highlights of the festival. Emerging spitting over beats from the "cloud-rap" era dominated by the likes of Main Attrakionz, A$AP Rocky and Clams Casino, not only has Lil B become a social media king, he's also coined his own style of "based" rapping—showcased in the viral "Wonton Soup" track to his killer link-up on Clams Casino's 32 Levels album. For anyone who is requiring serious spiritual enlightenment out in Finland, a rare performance from Lil B is essential.

Catch Lil B on Friday, 8pm at the Lapin Kulta Red Arena.

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